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Car Bombs Kill 48 in Iraqi Capital

A wave of car bombs has hit Iraq, killing at least 48 people and wounding more than 200 others as the country struggles with a surge in violence and sectarian tensions.

Most of the blasts Monday struck predominantly Shi'ite areas of Baghdad, while one bomb exploded in the southern city of Basra.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.

Al-Qaida's affiliate in Iraq has frequently used car bombs in coordinated attacks to undermine the country's Shi'ite-led government.

Many Sunnis have held protests against the government, saying it is ignoring their needs and marginalizing them politically.

The increase in violence during the past few months has left hundreds of people dead, with some estimates putting the death toll over 800 in July alone.

The incidents have raised concern of a return to widespread sectarian attacks that plagued the country after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

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Veiled women walk past a billboard that carries a verse from Koran urging women to wear a hijab in the northern province of Raqqa, March 31, 2014.

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